Virtual collaboration is a platform for communication between virtual team members that is delivered using a variety of devices and services. Adopting virtual collaboration enables employees to share ideas and to easily work together across different borders and time zones. At Plantronics we believe that successful collaboration is built on three pillars: Bricks (the workspace), Bytes (the methods of communication) and Behaviour (the people).
Successful collaboration can benefit an organisation in many ways. With the means to communicate clearly where ever and whenever, workers can utilise 'smarter' work spaces away from the office, for example a hotel, and enjoy a healthier work/life balance. In turn, these improved working conditions can create a more motivated and efficient workforce, which not only improves an organisation's ROI (return on investment), but also helps retain and employ the best talent by providing people with the places they need to work. Integrate virtual collaboration into your business successfully and reap the rewards using the expertise of Plantronics and our partners.
Collaboration has always been important, and with more business being conducted globally, the need for clear communications is greater than ever – particularly when not using our native language.
The dynamics of the workplace are also evolving. Culture is now built on trust, teamwork, and independence. It’s about results, not simply process or presence. It’s about getting things done – smartly, flexibly and effectively. We’re collaborating more than ever:
Effective collaboration is based on structured teams offering and sharing information. Research suggests a mix of new and experienced people can create the right dynamic for success.
One thing is clear: truly effective collaboration is reliant on more than one factor. Implementing the latest, most effective technology plays an important role. As does providing dedicated spaces in the workplace, such as quiet zones, to aid collaboration. Changing an organisation’s culture will also ensure swift adoption of collaborative ways of working. However, voice should still be at the heart of any collaboration strategy.
At Plantronics we refer to this as Bricks, Bytes and Behaviour, the three pillars of virtual collaboration:
Installing a collaborative workspace by redesigning fixed managed spaces to create specific areas for particular purposes will engage end users.
Collaboration platforms, including voice solutions, device and headset selection. Engaging with users to understand which technologies they use to communicate and how they use them will help drive adoption.
Employers should be open to evolving working practices and train and educate workers to understand the new rules of collaboration.
Have a look around our office and see how we have implemented collaboration best practices.
Successful collaboration relies on how workers use their voice when communicating. For example, successful collaboration requires things like fit and healthy lungs and a trained use of voice in terms of pitch, pace, power and pause. Ultimately, it is about transmitting content intelligibly so it is easy to understand. Users should engage their listeners by storytelling for the biggest impact; one-to-one conversations and conference calls can be powerful. Helping employees understand how to use their voice and providing them with the tools to communicate and the flexibility to work in a way that suits them is what we call a 'smarter' way of working.
Using the voice effectively shouldn’t just be the province of call centre staff and telephone sales teams. It should be a key tool across any organisation. Everyone can learn to communicate and collaborate effectively – by tuning their voices with pace, pause, power and pitch.
Slow down. If you think you’re speaking too slowly, you're at the right pace.
Have a break. A pause in conversation enables you to add emphasis. But don’t, pause, after, every, word – it sounds scripted.
Speak up - increasing voice levels can grab attention and add emphasis – but not too often.
Raising the tone at the end of a sentence will indicate you’re looking for an answer to a question. Lowering the tone adds a level of seriousness to your voice.
Welcome to the world of successful Virtual Collaboration, where all your communications are unified and where you can connect however, and where ever you like.
These Unified Communications (UC) platforms are enabling organisations to integrate real-time communication services such as instant messaging (chat), presence information, voice and video conferencing with non-real-time communication services including voicemail, email and SMS, which boosts productivity.
Virtual collaboration can be delivered by a number of communications channels but the voice and its clarity remain at the heart of it. Plantronics provides the components that makes virtual collaboration more effective. For example, our range of headsets unify the deskphone, the mobile phone and the PC to bring them together in one device. This gives workers a greater and more consistent presence across all devices and makes juggling communication channels easier than ever before. Connect instantly, never be late and communicate simply and efficiently.
Read how leading domestic appliance manufacturer Indesit UK uses Plantronics headsets to increase efficiency in its call centre and on the road.
Find out how Plantronics technologies can help you make the most of UC for successful collaboration and improved business results.
‘Impact on Organisation and Workplace’ BFIM (2012)